The White House today released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget proposal includes the following:
- Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $28.56 billion over the 2018-2027 period
- Eliminating funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) ($200 million/year) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program ($34.5 million/year)
- Reducing conservation program funding by $5.8 billion over the 2018-2027 period
Statement from the National Corn Growers Association:
“The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America. These proposed budget cuts would hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk, grow their revenues, and farm more sustainably.
“Targeting the federal crop insurance program is extremely shortsighted. It is especially harmful during an extended period of low commodity prices. NCGA members consistently tell us that crop insurance is their most important risk management tool. This public-private partnership helps farmers manage their risk, and it saves taxpayers money in the long run by reducing reliance on ad hoc disaster assistance.
“MAP and FMD are successful programs that build global demand for U.S. farm products, and increase income and jobs in our communities. MAP and FMD create an average return on investment of $28 for every $1 spent, and account for 15 percent of all U.S. ag export revenue—making them a solid investment. At a time when the farm economy is struggling, we should be investing more in these programs, not less.
“Finally, the budget calls for streamlining conservation programs, which includes eliminating any new enrollment into the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Voluntary conservation programs such as CSP help farmers to be good environmental stewards, which benefits everyone. NCGA is committed to continuous improvements and helping our farms become even more sustainable.”
“We urge Congress to honor the commitment they made to rural America when they reauthorized the farm bill in 2014. We hope to engage in a meaningful dialogue about how we can support America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these challenging economic times.”